Oscar Predictions: EW's Prize Fighter on who is rising and falling


Image Credit: Anne Marie Fox

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If there’s a sure-thing this year, it’s Jared Leto as a transgender prostitute, dying of AIDS but fighting for his life in Dallas Buyers Club. The scene where his character changes his attire to visit his estranged father is what sealed the deal for many voters.

There are other worthy contenders, but each will have formidable work to do to overcome Leto’s lead. In many ways, that has made this one of the most fluid categories. Everyone has a guess about the winner, but the other four nominees could include anyone from newcomer Barkhad Abdi, the leader of the Somali pirates in Captain Phillips, to the late James Gandolfini for his tender lunk in Enough Said.

Saturday Night Live and MacGruber star Will Forte may be the surprise player here. He gets some great laughs as the tolerant son shepherding his baffled elderly father in Nebraska, but the role gave the comic a chance to play some deeply touching scenes that showed he is far more than just a funnyman.

He’s not there yet, but over the next few weeks Forte could find himself rising onto the list.

1. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
2. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
3. James Gandolfini, Enough Said
4. Tom Hanks, Saving Mr. Banks
5. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
6. Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
7. Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
8. Will Forte, Nebraska

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